While looking for a multibillion dollar management, the success of a company is measured by its business ideas and its strategic moves. The capacities of the individual personnel shouldn't limit the operating capabilities. The winning combination for a management team comprises of practical experience along with intellectual capacity while being able to respond to the ever changing requirements of an industry. A case in point is Michael Dell.
Michael Dell had humble beginnings, born in February 1965 with a startup investment of just $1,000. Currently, he is the chairman of the Dell board of directors. He is the proud owner of Dell to which he gave birth in 1984. The key idea here was to build rapport and long-term relationship with the clientele (Dell, 1999).
His vision Dell rose to unreachable heights within his lifetime. It was a childhood vision. He was raised in suburban Houston, Texas, where he envisioned himself as the chairman of a corporate enterprise. He had noticeable business ideas and traits of a big businessman. For commencing a stamp collection, a hobby for many, he worked hard at a Chinese restaurant as a dishwasher boy while being a water boy as well. Eventually, the stamp collection was sold for $2,000 by mail order (Dell, 1999).
He got interested in a different business entirely namely computers. He sold subscriptions to the Houston Post. He had access to the local customers who were the subscribers. Thus, he used this information to his advantage. Armed with a computer, he sent out letters with offers on subscriptions. With the money he accumulated, he soon bought a shiny new BMW (Dell, 1999).
Since early age, business and computer intrigued him to a greater extent. At the age of eight, he took an equivalency exam for high school in order to get rid of the school years fast and enter into the business world. He was purchasing stocks and precious metals at the age of twelve working menial jobs.
His parents backed him in his highly ambitious business plans. His parents were highly educated themselves. Michael Dell's mother was a stockbroker as well as financial consultant while his father was an orthodontist. Although, his parents envisioned their son to be an aspiring medical student, Michael Dell had other ideas (Dell and Fredman, 2010).
While, he attended the Texas University aiming to become a doctor; Michael Dell ended up changing the way computers were perceived. He noticed a loophole in the industry where the buyers and sellers were unsatisfied with the results. He adjusted the system according to his own plans. He transformed the notion of third party purchasing and ensured everyone got what they desired for. He commenced building and selling computers to his friends. In the year 1984, he opened an enterprise named PC's Limited with an investment of just $1,000. From stocked computer parts, he started constructing and selling computers. He purchased the stock parts in bulk thus procuring them at a lower price. He was able to generate a huge profit on it already. From his dormitory, he sold Dell computers in the Texas University. He was just a 19-year-old teenager then. The trump card for the Michael Dell was his large clientele, which he had amassed. He sold to this dedicated customers directly. No third party involvement was necessary (Dell and Fredman, 2010).
Michael Dell's business shot skywards. It hit right on the money. He had made six million in his initial years. The rate at which Michael Dell's business was growing was exponential. In 1992, he was included in the Fortune 500 magazine as the youngest CEO ever to enter the magazine's listing. At the end of year 2000, Michael Dell was a billionaire with offices in over 34 countries employing a total of 35,000 employees. Within a few years afterwards, Michael Dell replaced Compaq as the largest PC maker corporation. Presently, Dell is on a high note working its way for making computers affordable and versatile at performance. It is still a heavy duty brand in the computer industry (Dell and Fredman, 2010).
Dell was in the fast lane until the last few years, their computers became defective and poorly built. They paid a heavy price for that. Furthermore, Michael Dell attained three million dollars to rectify his poorly manufactured computers. Although he retired as CEO of Dell, he came out of retirement to spearhead Dell again. But hiring Michael Dell back did little to rectify the situation. The company was still churning poorly manufactured hardware. Eventually, Michael Dell announced he would take the corporation privately again and struck a deal with the Silver Lake Partners. Apparently, this deal was valued between $22-$23 billion and it is considered as one of the biggest buyouts.
Dell has been moving downwards in the PC maker list for a few years now. New competitors like HP and Apple have occupied the top places. But, now it is developing a name for itself in the tablet and smart phone sector. Dell has released its own Android operating system-based smart phones and tablets (Dell and Friedman, 2010).
Business philosophy and management style
Michael Dell had vehemently stated that experience is the greatest teacher. Dell learned all the tricks of the trade the hard way. The company had all the three ingredients namely, profitability, liquidity and growth. Michael Dell considered the cultural issue a serious one. The employees were focused on growth. Michael Dell believed that strengthening the company internally was far more imperative in the long run (Friedman, 2010).
Michael Dell believed that hard evidence had to be taken in account. Instincts were just as important, but cloudy judgments and emotional decisions tended to drag companies into dangerous waters. Hard evidence was necessary to back a business decision. That was the case of Dell Computers (Friedman, 2008).
Michael Dell states that being the owner of a small or a large enterprise, one person is not an expert at every designated task. This is why talented and motivated employees are the lifeblood of a company. A fresh pair of eyes can always validate a new idea and spearhead it to success. The day-to-day operations can blunt the edge for new ideas (Friedman, 2008).
The balance of power in a company shouldn't be toyed with. The top management shouldn't be power hungry. The primary aim is to work for the success of the company rather than on career growth. In terms of long-term success, focusing on career growth can be counterproductive. It's counterproductive for the clientele and shareholders. Focusing on company's objectives translates into success. Communication is ultimately the deciding factor for being on the same page. Communication will entail the threats the company is facing and necessary issues needed to be focused on.
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail
Intellect and planning goes hand in hand. A management team focused on future growth will focus on the bigger picture for its company, not just the one year framework. Business needs to be strengthened and solidified in the long-term. The strong points of the business must be studied and reflected upon. It's just not an internal process but an external one as well where every segment of the business is scrutinized including clientele, supply chain and employees. In the planning phase, a number of key factors in the corporation can surface to the top such as growth opportunities, infrastructure and facilities at its disposal (Friedman, 2008).
Planning remains halfhearted without sound execution. The basic planning which Michael Dell instigates is that an agreement is made on the product they are proposing to deliver. The entire company is synchronized according to the product to be delivered. Every phase has its own objectives to achieve. Every segment of the product is imperative and necessary such as finance, sales, services, manufacturing and design of the product. A phase review process is put in place to check on all the phases to ensure accountability and responsibility. It is the framework set in place for each product's viability and durability (Friedman, 2008).
The planning process serves a dual purpose as it works its way from bottom from the business point-of-view while keeping in touch with the requirements and aspirations of the management team. Both are two sides of the coin. The communication must be two way for a product to develop and nurture. It portrays the organizational behavior and structure. With a sound organizational structure in place, the company kicks in the fifth gear (Friedman, 2008).
Creating long lasting relationships
Michael Dell had a vision that employees should deem themselves as an essential part of the organization. They must have a feeling of belonging and a part of something bigger than themselves. Simply put, the methodical way of using the employee energy for the organization is to create a vibrant and energetic culture with them. They must share and honor the same ideologies and objectives to be achieved (Friedman, 2008).